Setting up an Airbnb is easy and has never been as popular as it is now. Airbnb is providing an alternative to traditional lettings for property investors and is proving more profitable and easier to manage.
Over the past few years, we have created a couple of Airbnb locations in the UK and are looking at introducing an additional ‘unique space‘ in 2023. We’ve written down the process we go through to develop the idea, create the space and start hosting.
Will the property work?
First thing first, is to get into the property when it is empty. Spend some time inside, have a cuppa, and sit/stand within the rooms. Listen for the sounds coming into the property. Can you hear neighbours partying at 3 pm on Wednesday or is there five huge dogs over the road? The more time you spend in the property the more you will get a feel for the immediate area the Airbnb is in. They’ll be good points for the property and also bad points. Negative aspects of a property won’t mean an Airbnb won’t work, it is simply a case of brainstorming ways to overcome them.
Once you know more about the property internally and externally you can make a decision on whether, as a guest after a long day of travel, you would want to stay at this location.
If the property is good to go, we look further afield from the property. What are the streets like close by? Are there any other Airbnbs close by (if not why not, or are you the first, or is there a reason Airbnb stays don’t work)? What is local that will attract people to the area – think large city centers, airports, large employers, or sources of work? Our Plymouth Airbnb benefits well from its proximity to the naval base – friends, and families visiting or those coming in for work.
One thing we love is getting out into the local cafes and local area to get a feel for what brings people into that space. What is on offer? What are the designs, themes, colours, and decor of the most popular spots in town? If those spots are popular within the area of the Airbnb then we use that and ensure the theme of the flat or house or room follows that.
Mood Board It
This is simply taking pictures of everything we like and that inspires us and what we would want to include in the Airbnb. It can be colours we see all walls, plants coming from the ceiling. The way a piece of text looks or how something has been upcycled. Gather all these pictures up somewhere you can find them easily. Pinterest is great for this. Then keep adding to develop the idea in your head. When you are ready start recreating this throughout the space, trying to stick to the original theme of the mood board to ensure consistent feel.
Once we have the feel for the space and what we want it to look like we start sourcing items and storing them in a central spot, usually not at the AirBnb. This is because there may be work on-going and we change our mind on what items we want. Having them collected somewhere central means we can keep building up what we need and removing items that no longer fit. Then, once ready everything gets loaded in one go and taken to site for a day of setting up and kitting out.
One thing we build from day one is automation. This isn’t so we can ignore the place and take the money. It is a way to ensure a great guest experience before, during, and after their stay. By this we mean, that if a guest has to wait on you for something to happen it opens the process and experience up to delays and errors and of course puts you under pressure to deliver the services consistently. With automation such as SMART Locks and automated messages with HostTools you can deliver a consistent service to the guests with less effort, reserving more energy for the extra fun stuff like checking in with guest on the phone or developing more Airbnb stays.
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